West Virginia State Bar and Office of Disciplinary Counsel News

The West Virginia State Bar announced today that the Office of Disciplinary Counsel has a new website. Also, the West Virginia State Bar has redesigned its website design..

The new Office of Disciplinary Counsel website contains information about the disciplinary complaint process the function of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board, the Rules of professional Conduct and the disciplinary complaint process. The website also has links to all Legal Ethics Opinions issued by the Lawyer Disciplinary Board and recent disciplinary decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Also, the West Virginia State Bar announces that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeal has entered order with a proposed amendment to Rule 8, Rules for Admission Pro Hac Vice. The proposed amendment increases the fee pad to the West Virginia State Bar for each individual applicant for pro hac vice admission from $250 to $350. Public comment on the proposed rule is being received through January 25, 2010.
A copy of the proposed order:

Request for Comments on Proposed Amendment to Rule 8.0 Admission pro hac vice, of the West Virginia Rules of Admission to the Practice of Law

UPDATE (3/16/10):

The West Virginia State Bar’s Unlawful Practice of Law Committee released Advisory Opinion 10-001, relating to questions from attorneys regarding its interpretation of Rule 8 of the West Virginia Rules of Admission to the Practice of Law, relating to admissions pro hac vice.

Advisory Opinion 10-001 addresses the following issues:

1. Whether the requirement in Rule 8 of of admission pro hac vice extends to matters in which no action, suit or proceeding is pending;

2. To what extent is the responsible local attorney required to participate in proceedings involving the attorney admitted pro hac vice;

3. Whether presiding judicial officers can “excuse” local counsel form participation or “waive” the requirement of participating; and

4. What limitations exist for attorneys seeking to be admitted pro hac vice, particularly their ability to be admitted on a frequent basis, or in multiple or consolidated actions.